Its been over a week since NAB ended and I have to tell you I am still digging out from the show.
I am finishing my NAB wrapup for here on the Cow, while it was a big show, I did not really see a huge amount of what I would call compelling, at this year's show. Also missing were the large number of DP's that attended the show in 2010. I hope that is a sign that people are once again working in Hollywood.
Interesting also was list of companies that only updated exisiting product lines or the trend this year of openly showing prototypes of thunderbolt and other technologies under development rather than keeping those under wraps. I am working on securing permisson to talk about some of the items that were not on the show floor that really are changing the future of our business.
Yesterday's Sesssions started with Dave Stump ASC, and members of his team talking about the updated 2D-3D conversion process, Mitch Gross from AbelCine on the updated Phantom Cameras and the new Zepar 3D system that uses a Phantom 65 Golf to capture both left and right eyes simultanously on the 65mm Sensor, which is large enough to accomdate both Super 35 frames at once.
If you are at the show you MUST go see the 3aility Demo area, it is really amazing to see the power of what 3D can be.
Blackmagic showed off ultra scope for Mac at $99, Baselight is offering a FCP Plugin that allows Baselightproject files to be modified.
I finally get to the show floor today I will be at the Aja booth every morning for the rest of the show talking 3D.
Lastly, I have to once again thank Barco and RealD for the DP Conference Projection System, with Dual HDSDI to Barco 2K DI projector and RealD certified projection to the a 30ft silver screen. The 3D was some of the best of the show, so I was lucky enought to have my own personal DI suite for 3Days.
The show kicks off today and there is so much stuff here I am just going to list some of the cool things
Canon PL Mount Lenses
Arri Alexa M - block camera for 3D applications
Arri Alexa Studio camera with Optical Viewfinder
Assimilate Scratch is now on MAC!!
Aja's Free 4K update for the Kona3G card and the "riker" prototype.
Aja's Thunderbolt Io.
Sony's 3D EX with shoulder mount ( I have not heard what the release model is called)
Sony's 3D NX prosumer camera is one of the smallest 3D cameras out there.
Sony's F65 4K Raw Camera
3D is everywhere, my friends at 3ailty have basketball court in their booth and are producing a Live 3D broadcast 3 or 4 times a day, and portends to be one of the most interesting places to be, not to mention it is immedately adjacent to the new NAB Beer Garden.
Adobe CS 5.5 has been released.
something from apple comes tomorrow,
So with NAB already in full swing off in spite of the show floor still under construction, the overall feeling in Vegas is almost electric in the air. There is discussions of technology, tools and who is going to be at the show. Guest speakers like Douglas Trumball, James Cameron and now that Kevin Smith's presentation is scheduled for the Show floor, everyone already here excited about what will be shown on the floor.
Saturdays sessions ran the gamut from Gary Mandle, Sony Sr. Product Manager for display tech, kicked us off with a very technical program on the how and why of displays, focusing on the new OLED and the return of the Trimaster Line of Professional displays.
I followed with a closeup look at the new Sony PMWF3 (my review will be in a future Cow Magazine article, but let me say I love it), then Arri's Marc Shipman-Muller brought us up to speed about the latest developments on the Alexa front including the annoucement of the "Studio" version of Alexa and a couple of other surprises (I am embargoed from talking until Monday from saying more). Ending with Robin Berg, a producer and cinematographer for the Savage Wild TV series, talking about the difficulties of shooting one of the most dangerous TV shows that I have ever seen, showing behind the scences footage of working in the Florida Everglades swimming and exploring underway with alligators, and another clip the host of the show being attacked and gouged by a wild boar on camera.
Sunday kicks off with Cinematogrphers Roberto Schaefer ASC, Geoff Boyle, Art Adams, along with Michael Bravin and myself talking about the state of the industry.
I have been negligent in posting some of what I am doing for this years DP Conference at NAB so here is a schedule and links to some of the speakers and topics being covered.
I am very thankful for the Technical assistance from Barco Inc and RealD for our VIewing Needs.
---Saturday April 9th Starting at Noon.
Sony's Gary Mandle on Display Technologies
Gary Adcock on the Sony PMWF3
Arri's Alexa update with Marc Shipman-Mueller
Shooting in "the Wild" with Robin Berg.
---Sunday April 10th
Breakfast with Roberto Schafer A.S.C and CML's Geoff Boyle with special guests Art Adams and Michael Bravin
Understanding Perception in 3D with Chris Mayhew
Digital Deliverables with Tom Vice from FOTOKEM (and a peak at their NextLAB data system)
Working in 3D - a Panel discussion on 3D hosted by 3aility's Lucas Wilson
Epic in 3D- Ted Schilowitz of RED and Michael Cioni of LightIron show off the Epic / Element Techinca Atom Rig
--- Monday April 11th
3D -VFX with Dave Stump A.S.C. (focusing on 2D-3D conversion)
Working With Log and LUT's - Bob Monaghan and Gary Adcock
Inside 3aility Live- Lucas Wilson- this is a behind the scenes at a Live 3D broadcast.
3D Tech- Rigs, Techs and the Technology
Phantom Technologies with AbelCine's Mitch Gross
This is just part of the 5 days of content being put on at the show that are included in Post and Production World Conference Pass.
I will be at the show at or around the AJA booth and my fellow bovine's can look for me at many of the events for Adobe, AJA and at the Supermeet.
So NAB 2011 starts this coming Saturday.
Last week Adobe showed a fully featured version of Photoshop running on an iPad, Sony announced that they will be showing their 4K camera system on the show flow and privately announced a couple of other new cameras, a message that that was buried behind all of the Tsunami and earthquake news from that ravaged country. The people behind the GoPro camera bought up Cineform, just as 3D was getting off the ground on the NLE front.
Be it known there will be some very cool stuff at the show, one of the must see stops for me will be the 3ality area, outside near the "new" NAB Beer Garden, will; be showing some of the coolest 3D integration toolsets at the show.
Element Technica is showing the newest Atom Rig with a couple of surprises,RED actually has a booth once again this NAB, so there will not be a REDUG meeting as there has been for the last couple of years. The SuperMeet is scheduled for Tuesday night and this year I might just make it.
There has even been some speculation on the internet about a new version of FCP.
So Strap yourself in, NAB is about to begin.
Its time for the Tv and Technology show for the rest of the world to start. IBC, THE TV show for the rest of the world starts later this week, and I am once again in attendance.
If NAB is about the announcements, IBC is about the delivery of those products we have been waiting for since April's big show.
I am here, keeping up with all of the releases and whats new, so stay tuned and I will try to keep everyone updated ever day or so with all of the new toys and announcements from one of the best trade shows I have ever done.
OK it’s been 3 weeks since NAB and I had to get some work done but I wanted everyone to know that one of of the coolest updates at this past NAB was hidden well inside the central hall and was one of the most promising products I have seen in years. If you have ever tried to repeat a pan then tilt with a fluid head in the same manner over multiple takes you quickly see how limited most tripod heads are built.
The Gearnex Head with an HVX200
At last year’s show Gearnex showed off the first affordable gear head that most of us had ever seen. Instead of the Arri model that sells in the $30-$40K range, the Gearnex Gear head as an MSRP of only $7500 USD. I got a close look last year at the head but was given a peak at the 2010 update and all I can say is WOW. The Gearnex team has taken all the suggestions users have sent them and redesigned their product into a wonderfully easy, full function production tool.
Just so everyone understands, a gearhead allow an operator the ability to smoothly move or track and object in a repeatable fashion. If you are working on a standard fluid head on a tripod, you traditionally use either your body or your hands to pan and / or tilt. The problem with that methodology is simply inertia, moving any mass means that you need to apply an equal but opposite amount of force to slow or stop it, resulting in hits or bumps as you try to repeat the action over multiple takes.
With a gearhead, since you are controlling the movement by turning wheels orthogonally to the camera motion, it becomes far easier to control the camera movement when starting or ending a pan or tilt, all because you are not moving in the same direction as the camera is, and therefore less inertial mass is propagated to your camera movement giving you a much smoother control. I used my demo on a number of cameras from an HVX200, a fully tricked out RED and on full size HD cameras like my varicam all with great success. I personally felt the heaver the camera the better the original model worked, but I must say the updated model showed non of the issues I ran into with the lighter camera models, and it appeared to handle just as well with Prosumer cameras as it did for me with a full blown ENG package mounted on it.
This shows a full Varicam package on my Gearnex Head
Gearnex includes a training chart and laser pointer in every kit to facilitate a faster learning curve with regard to accurate camera movement and control. I watched a number of times at the Red UserGroup meeting during NAB when camera operators that had never worked on a gearhead became absolutely astounded at how quickly they were able to recreate incredibly complex camera moves in a matter of minutes.
There is nothing better than a test chart, especially when it comes in the package.
Find them here http://www.gearnex.com/
I want to take a minute and publicly thank Bram and the team at Flanders Scientific for the assistance at this NAB. I know that nearly everyone here on the Cow has heard about Walter and Shane’s glowing reviews of the FSI monitors and I now gladly add my name to that list.
I have been carrying a 17’ FSI unit around for about 3 months now and it was an absolute savior at NAB. For the record the last 5 years I have had to drag an entire edit bay to Las Vegas. That includes desktop, Kona 3, 8T raid and until this year I used 2 displays, one for the computer and one to monitor. Well, this year my Cinema display arrived in 3 pieces. In desperation I plugged a DVI cable from my computer into my LM-1760W and low and behold I was able to use the FSI monitor for both the computer and to monitor the HDSDI feed just by pressing the input selection buttons on the front.
When someone tried to check the calibration setting controls and all they succeeding in doing was throwing the units calibration totally out of whack. Bram and Johan were kind enough to recalibrate the unit at the show. While it is not possible for everyone here on the Cow to get that kind of customized service at a trade show, I would not hesitate a millisecond to recommend the FSI displays to anyone, because with people like this behind a company, I know anyone I send their way will get the best service and support possible and I wanted to thank them publicly for saving my butt.
Since I only post on a couple of sites other than the Cow, I thought I would share this little piece of info with my Bovine Friends.
It's NAB Time and I got a chance to spend 2 days onset with one of the yet to be released Sony OLED (PVM740) displays while working some of my NAB Prep and I have to say that it is a pretty damned nice little unit. Rugged and compact, though a little thicker (about .75" or 2cm) around the middle than my usual Panasonic 8" LCD, it was a tad lighter overall. It had all of the usual tool set but a few things stuck out at me.
First and foremost was the onscreen Waveform display is set on a transparent background, so finally an affordable monitor that does not take away a huge chunk of the the corner of my rather small screen by blacking out the area behind the Waveform. Secondly, its 10bit, able to handle images that my 8bit panel could not. It's about time that even the smallest displays start conforming to the 10bit future. Though 10bit not really needed when used on-camera or on set, that would allow for low profile racks to have 10bit in the truck on at the DIT station. Even though component has been let off the unit, it does have 3G SDI, Composite and now HDMI connections, so that is will be usable from f35's all the way down to the new gen of DSLR shooters. Is HDMI possibly a hint at a change in philosophy about Sony using HDMI instead of HDSDI for future versions of on-camera or control room monitoring ?
a closer look at the Sony PVM740
Lastly was the Brightness. I worked both indoors and out in full sun with nothing more than some black wrap shielding direct light and it handled beautifully. It's OLED display has a rated 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio that offers better blacks than I have ever seen onset and it even though ships with an plastic protective screen cover screwed to the front of the unit, I could actually see through that cover outdoors because of the enhanced contrast levels possible when there is no backlight common to LCD panels. It was nice to see that compact a camera display that did not appear any less in quality than the Cine-Tal B.230 I normally use onset.
My main concern is that some people may not want a native 960x540 display in a 1080 world. The display offers standard, overscan and pixel to pixel operational viewing modes to compensate. However there is no onscreen indicator that you are in the Pixel to Pixel or "Native" viewing mode when you have the OSD indicators on the display turned off (or I could not find the setting). Other than that issue I found this display to be a worthy addition to my camera kit. With "street" pricing excepted to be right around $3K US this monitor will be popping up more and more in the our "greener" environmentally aware future.
Thanks to Gary Mandle for shipping this to NAB via Chicago so I could get a peek at it.
First Up - Changes on the show floor and a new track
Changes on the show floor: for those of you that have not looked at the show floor, Please note that Apple and AJA are no longer at the front of the South Hall of the LVCC.
Both of Apples booths, along with AJA Video Systems (where Walter and I will be most of the show) are now much farther back in the South Hall, all the way back at the escalators to the upper level, and the steps down into the back half that hall.
It is a strange feeling walking inbetween the booths being set up and seeing Matrox in the vaulted position near the ever crowded South Hall Starbucks, so now our friends at Apple are now actaully have to leave the booth to get that morning jolt of jo after a late night out on the strip.
I have been in Vegas for a couple of days already, working on the new Director of Photography track this year. This is a brave new world for me, as many of you know about my knowledge of the HVX 200 and JVC's 250 ( with HDSDI) but most of you do not know that I am really a camera geek, I have worked with a number of the High End Cameras from Sony, Panasonic, Vision Research, Arri, Genesis, and recently with a Viper.
We will be covering the High End at these sessions, the cameras we are talking about on Saturday and Sunday are the state of the art working solutions, Tom Fletcher (Fletcher Chicago) and Arri are showing the D-20, Michael Bravin (Band Pro) and Sony are showing off the new F23, Doug Leighton and Panasonic giving us a look at the 2K capture capabilities of the HDP2000 add on for D5, Mark Chiolis and Thomson Grass Valley Group end the show with a presentation of the Viper and it's tapeless workflows for VFX on the upcoming movie KILLER PAD with special guest Dave Stump.
Other sessions cover HD monitoring with Robert Goodman, of "Goodman Guides" fame, who was a last minute addition as a speaker. Choosing the correct camera package, working with a Stedicam (with Co Chair Steve Fracol). Workflow, Tapeless production and finally a roundtable discussion with a number of DP's passing on their experiences.
NAB has not even really started yet for most of you that are heading to the desert, but know that some of us are already here getting the place ready for you.
I am looking to having fun with this.